Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) released its Annual Report 2015 to every household in the Mercer Island community on Feb. 14. It is the first annual report for the non-profit organization.
MICA was incorporated as a non-profit in December 2013, with a goal to build and operate a center for performing arts, visual arts and cultural programming. It is in the middle of a $25 million capital campaign to build the center in a corner of Mercerdale Park in downtown Mercer Island.
The Annual Report 2015 highlights the work of the founding Board of Directors, professional partners, MICA resident users and many individuals and organizations in the community who support the creation and building of a center for the arts on Mercer Island. The central theme is, “Art Brings Us Together.”
“MICA will provide a focal point for creating and experiencing art in all its forms, benefiting all from preschoolers to seniors,” according to a MICA press release. “It will also redefine the town center, focusing and nourishing the social and economic life on the Island.”
The Annual Report 2015 introduces the MICA Board of Directors, 15 community volunteers who represent significant professional experience and community service in finance, legal, construction, fundraising, and nonprofit and arts management. MICA’s resident users are also introduced: Youth Theatre Northwest, Children’s Dance Conservatory/Island Youth Ballet, Musical Mind Studio, Music Works Northwest, Russian Chamber Music Foundation and Mercer Island Visual Arts League (MIVAL).
“A remarkable group of your fellow citizens have volunteered their time and money to create a beautiful new home for theater, music, dance, and the visual arts on the Island,” John Gordon Hill wrote in his Message from the President.
As of Dec. 31, 2015, MICA has raised $5,006,945 and spent $934,839.
Peter Hutt, treasurer, and Dirk van der Burch, comptroller, said that over the first two years of MICA’s existence, a majority of expenditures have been related to the study, planning and design of the arts facility with emphases on the resident artists and long term operational stability. The center was recently redesigned to avoid a nearby Category III wetland. The disbursements “were covered by early donations, leaving a comfortable level of liquidity for the organization.”
MICA also debuted Friends of MICA in the annual report. Friends of MICA is a new program enabling anyone, including individuals, businesses and nonprofit groups, to support and get involved in the Center for the Arts. All Friends of MICA will be invited to an annual meeting and an annual Friends appreciation event, and will receive a monthly e-newsletter with program and event information and project updates.
MICA’s Annual Report 2015 also highlights general information and facts on the central issues to the project including: economic impact, location, facility and sustainable operating model. The new Mercer Island Arts Calendar, found online at MercerIslandArts.org/Calendar, is highlighted as one of the community resources MICA is providing in the new year.
Readers can obtain information on frequently asked questions by visiting MercerIslandArts.org/FAQ or by visiting the MICA office at 7710 SE 29th St. Questions can also be emailed to askMICA@MercerIslandArts.org. Copies of MICA’s Annual Report 2015, “A Sense of Place,” are available free of charge at the MICA office and online at www.mercerislandarts.org.